Somali pirates killed, Captain freed

Richard Phillips (r) with Commander Frank Castellano (l)
Richard Phillips (r) with Commander Frank Castellano (l)

Posted by Rachel Leigh email

WASHINGTON (AP) - Adm. William Gortney says it took only three shots for Navy snipers to kill three pirates holding captain Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat drifting in the high sea.

Interviewed Monday morning on NBC's "Today" show from Bahrain, Gortney said the take-down happened shortly after the hostage-takers were observed by sailors aboard the USS Bainbridge "with their heads and shoulders exposed."

Asked how the snipers could have killed each pirate with a single shot in the darkness, Gortney described them as "extremely, extremely well-trained." He said the firing by the snipers was ordered by the captain of the Bainbridge after the pirates "exposed themselves" to attack.

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